The Emperor’s New Clothes Royalty-free Play Script for Schools

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15 pages. Parts for 16-23 characters. Includes extension activities, study guide and more. For ages nine and up. (3 credits.)

In this classic Hans Christian Andersen tale, a vain Emperor falls prey to two swindlers who convince him to purchase expensive garments that are invisible.

The script itself is about seven pages long (running time of 10-12 minutes).

This script also includes:
  • A study guide that gives a synopsis of the story and a list of though-provoking discussion questions.
  • Four detailed drama activities that directly relate to the story.
  • Production notes that offer suggestions for casting, costuming, set design and more!

The Drama Notebook Scripts+Activities are unique to Drama Notebook. The scripts are written to accommodate a flexible number of cast members, and the extension activities and study guides are designed to help students develop a connection to the lessons in the story and to deepen their understanding of the text.

Watch a performance of this play!

Excerpt from the play:

Narrator One
Narrator Two
Remly, the Tailor
Sir Erik (emperor’s advisor)
Nobleperson One
Nobleperson Two
Palace Guards
Grido (a swindler)
Dervish (a swindler)
Keeper of Scrolls
Townspeople (3-10)

Settings: A great palace and the village street.

(The narrators stand downstage left and downstage right. They take turns narrating the story from the edges of the stage.)

Narrator One: A long time ago, in a country far away, there lived an Emperor who lived in a golden palace. He had all the fine things that an Emperor could want. And he loved clothes more than anything in the world.

(The Emperor enters with his tailor. He stands upstage admiring himself in the mirror while his tailor pantomimes making minor adjustments to the Emperor’s clothing. They do this throughout the following lines.)

Narrator Two:He changed his outfit every morning, afternoon, and evening. On special occasions, he changed his outfit every hour of the day.(Sir Erik enters carrying a list of the day’s business. He stands centerstage, examining the list. A nobleman enters and approaches Sir Erik.)

Nobleperson One: I have important business to discuss with the king. Where is he?

Sir Erik: I’m sorry. He’s in his dressing room.

(The nobleman walks out in a huff. Another nobleman enters, crossing paths with the first nobleman who is shaking his head.)

Nobleperson Two: (to Sir Eric) Good day, Sir Eric. You told me that the Emperor could see me today.

Sir Eric: I’m sorry, sir. The Emperor is trying on new outfits.

Nobleperson Two: All day?

Sir Eric: It could take all day.

(The nobleman walks away grumbling. Sir Erik marches offstage shaking his head.)

Narrator One: Now, word had spread throughout the land and into the neighboring kingdoms that the Emperor was always seeking new clothes. The finer, the better.

(The Emperor moves downstage, smoothing his jacket and adjusting his scarf. His tailor scurries behind him brushing off imaginary lint, etc.)

Emperor: How do I look, Remly?

Remly: Magnificent, your Imperial Majesty.

Emperor: Are you sure? This color seems just a little bit off, don’t you think?

Remly: Oh no, your Imperial Majesty, the color suits you. It, it makes your eyes, um, sparkle!

Emperor: And?

Remly: Makes your eyes sparkle and, and…shine!

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